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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  August 21, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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you're in the government. are is why good proposals not even discussed on the basis of merit. think that is a technical question. i agree with both. tying them together, there is an issue about whether that is smart. i think getting corporate tax reform done itself is important. capitalizing infrastructure bank is important. whether you're going to end up getting either one -- i don't know. my commentary would be tactical, not so much policy. >> this is a very important question. when you talk about tax reform, it is best to think about tax reform -- the goal is more growth, more revenues, lower unemployment. tax reform means lowering those
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rates and broadening the base. basically, you're not trying to generate more basically, you're not trying to generate more revenue. in fact, the most successful tax reforms have had less static reform. some people will be hurt by the base broadening. if you are stacking against tax reform, if you link it to these other things, what ever did, they may be good to have or they may not, whenever it is, you reduce these chances. that president kennedy and president reagan got through. it would be a tremendous thing to get the tax reform done. not -- let alone the corporate side, but also the personal side as well. >> mortgage you mean about the american energy room, the massive amounts of natural gas and hydraulic fracturing, could that be something to
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reinvigorate growth? >> it is a very important thing. it is an example of where regulatory policy makes a big .ifference if you encourage these activities and do not discourage them, eat it can be a tremendous boom. that this analogy economy has a huge weight behind it. if you remove that way, we can get back to a higher growth rates. i am worried this recovery will never be a real recovery. we may never get back to that. but there is this great potential in the united states. energy is just one example. >> going back to taking a card out of mexico.
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passing a law to make members of congress compromised. >> with this new and administration, mexico is even better. but mexico has been doing pretty well relative to the united states during this expansion. the net immigration flow has actually become zero. between mexico and the united states, because the mexican economy has done better than the american economy in the last few years. and until recently, the emerging markets themselves. it is almost like they're trading places. we used to encourage the emerging markets to follow these forciples, and they have the most part. at least there look -- they're moving in that direction, and we seem to be moving away. it is discouraging. we should be following the cut -- the principles that made this country great more than we have been recently. going back to monetary policy, they have been jolted to some extent by our own monetary
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policy. the headlines yesterday in the wall street journal, india is shocked by the removal of quantitative easing. we have done some of this ourselves. the more we can get back to our principles, the better off we will be. >> what about immigration reform? it is obvious the fluid piece of legislation depending on the form of the bill takes, if it gets through, is that something that could boost economic growth as well as the social security system? >> it will be good for growth and also for politics. it will be something that people can point to. we're not there yet, but i hope we can be. but i would not say it is the magic bullet to get the economy moving. >> any thoughts on immigration reform? addedhink we should have a while ago. if you just look at what is being proposed and will -- and
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if you look at the impact long term, not that it has any short- term negative effects, but again, it speaks to a political system that cannot get its act together. let me mention one other thing. john introduced it. thee are two views about world and the u.s. and global economy. the one view is the stronger we are, then the better the global economy is, and therefore, we should do whatever it takes to get stronger, or regardless of what the economic realities are. that is one view. the other view is we are the issuance of the global currency -- issuer of the global currency. we provide a lot of public goods. we are in the middle of the global system. we hold it together. and therefore, when we implement policies, we need to be about
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the feedback loops through the rest of the world. what is happening today, to pick up on what john has said, when you look at the newspapers, the rest of the world finds it very difficult to navigate a world in which the u.s. is speeding the way it is. thathe results of that is the most powerful engine of growth in the last few years, the american world, is slowing down. and the reason why u.s. companies had been able to do well despite the sluggish economy in the u.s. is because they have been selling abroad. now the risk is we see increasing policy of coherence in countries like brazil, indonesia, not because they have suddenly become a net, but because it is very difficult to navigate a global system with that is so fluid with capital flowing in and out. they will tell you that they are
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dealing with what is called tourist spots. when a tourist goes to a developing country, they normally go with great enthusiasm. they're going to go see a lot of nice things, etc. then suddenly, something goes wrong and they don't know the country well enough. the first reaction is to go to the airport and get out. a lot of capital has been pushed out of the u.s. and has gone to countries -- it's called crossover capital. is not dedicated capital, but crossover capital, where investors do not fundamental interest and the risks they are underwriting. the minute something goes wrong, even if it is temporary and reversible, the temptation is to bring the money out. that is what you're seeing going on right now in the emerging world. that is destabilizing to countries that have been pursuing a pretty good policies so far. >> we have just a couple of
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minutes left. i will go ahead and open up the far too many journalists and members of the press -- open up the floor to journalists and members of the press who have questions. reformmentioned entire and one of things that came up with health care. healthcare has been deemed the biggest threat to the government in terms of paying for things. that being said, what can we do about that? should we continue with the affordable care act? should we adopt a single payer system? obviously, doing nothing will not work. what would you recommend? already existing for a long time, like medicare, for which the projections of spending are just growing and we also of social security as well. but in the case of medicare, there is a bipartisan agen to ce
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growth. the president a couple of years ago said it should not grow much more than gdp. the house republicans have also agreed. there's a difference on how to do that. house republicans wanted to decentralize, as you know. and the president wanted to centralize it. it seems to me that is something we could come to agreement on. it is really not about current retirees. it is about future retirees. people know it has to be addressed. i would try to go after the medicare issue. and of course, the affordable care act is even more difficult now because it has become so partisan. but it is also something that could be improved. but in the meantime, focus on entitlements that are clear the expenses right now, like medicare. >> one more question. i want to get your reaction,
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specifically on the story in the wall street journal with it to the financial crisis and when you were prosecuting banks. attorney-general holder announced he's getting ready to bring a bunch of new cases and i wanted to get your reaction to that. is this because we are five years into the crisis and these cases were to complicated to get to them quickly? ofis tied to the anniversary the crisis? are there cases out there that are still prosecutable? what about the statute of limitations? >> there is a five-year statute of limitations. that may be part of it. i think philemon university -- anniversary, scrutiny, a lot -- the lehman brothers anniversary, scrutiny, a lot of that. actions andorcement
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the accountability for people who break the law. it helps our markets. accountability and the certainty of enforcement actions helps to make sure there is full compliance and generates the kind of behavior is that we want to see in our financial system. when you have enforcement, that is because there's political pressure to do it. that troubles me, too. i wish we would have had earlier energy on this and more consistency about the kinds of cases we are bringing, the kind of the years we are targeting. -- of behavior's we are targeting. why isn't there consistency in the enforcement? i do worry when enforcement actions become a response to political pressure, or perhaps other reasons, that you lose the benefit of enforcement, which is accountability and changing the bears. i should not be so negative. maybe the positive is that good
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enforcement action will be consistent and their archives of the bears that need to be addressed, but we just don't know yet. >> [inaudible] >> i don't know. i did see the article. i don't know. the enforcement priorities of this department have confused me. it is not myspace, so i don't talk with them regularly. i do wish there had been a more robust policy. but again, when it is consistent and send clear signals about unacceptable behavior, looking into more -- rather than looking into discretionary type things or responding to political pressure. >> that is all the time we have. thank you for your excellent insight. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> and about 45 minutes here on c-span, we will start a preview of the mayoral debate, the new
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york city democratic candidates. we will have live coverage at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. and on our companion network, c- the good jobs nation coalition. >> tonight on c-span's encore presentation of first ladies. chicago toko went to nominate someone else for president, he was not expecting to be a candidate. there was the expectation is that over the next few months 17,000 people would show up at merrill and property here in ohio. when these people started to uninvited,-- show up it started to cause a lot of damage to the outside of the property. we know that garfield was a very gracious host to the people that were invited in.
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she would very often greet them in the front hallway and give them standing refreshment, which meant that she was very gracious offer them a cold glass but did or eliminate, not -- or lemonade, but did not want them to overstay their welcome. tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> tomorrow morning on washington -- "washington on the risingort cost of social security- disability insurance. and the future of the f-35 fighter. oliveri will talk about the arguments for and against keating a program funded. and we will finish with a defense fund contributor. plus, your calls, e-mails, and tweets. all of that is starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow.
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mr. roblin, what are you to the march on washington? been born a negro in this country. i wanted to be, part of the most to begin, more demonstrationte in this country. >> i express my support of civil rights largely at cocktail parties and i'm afraid. but again, like many americans this summer, i could of no longer pay only the service -- only lip service to a movement that was only right and so brilliantly now.
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>> historic and roundtable discussions, archival film, a visit to the national portrait gallery, a theater performance of the 1960's civil rights movement. it starts at 1:00 p.m. eastern as part of american history tv every begin on c-span3. >> earlier today, the white house announced it is deeply concerned by reports that syrian civilians were allegedly killed in a chemical weapons attack. said the josh ernest u.s. is calling on the syrian government to allow un inspectors already in that country to investigate. this portion of the briefing is 40 minutes. >> i do have a quick announcement of the top before we get going.
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an update about the president's schedule today. seniorsident and other administration officials will hold a seat -- a video teleconference with directors of state-based marketplaces. the president will thank them for working on the front lines today and you're about the progress they've made in setting up the new marketplaces, where americans will be able to shop for quality, affordable coverage that will be there for them when they need it most. a piece of health care development that will raise what we are on the topic -- it is this afternoon. i'm not sure what time. we learned that the growth in health-care premiums for employer-based coverage have slowed significantly under the affordable care act. the growth rate in 2013 was
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about one-third the size of the increases reside decade ago. also this week, montana became the latest state to announce health care premiums in the state that were lower-than- expected. they have been nearly 20% below the cbo's projections so far, and tax credits will make that even more affordable for many americans. finally, there are a couple of reports today about a study that indicated that job creation at small companies has almost doubled in the last six months. this is another signal, economists say, that undercuts claims that the affordable care act is having a negative impact on job growth, particularly among smaller businesses. in fact, some might even say that the affordable care act is having a positive impact on small businesses, thereby on the bottom line, and of course, their employees who will have access to health care coverage. with all of that, take it away. a i have a question about statement made earlier today. the president has said for about a year now that chemical weapons used crosses a red line.
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and yet, we have at least one confirmed use and that this new report. is there any indication that policy is working, given the death rate continues, and that assad has allegedly used chemical weapons again? >> right now, they're actually happens to be a united nations chemical weapons investigative team on the ground in syria. they were just granted access to the country yesterday, i believe. given the reports we have seen overnight about what may or may not have taken place in syria, we think it is important for that investigative team to be given access to that area. the assad regime, when presented with evidence that chemical weapons had been used in their country, have said that they are interested in a credible investigation to get to the bottom of what has happened. it is time for them to live up
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to that claim. if they actually are interested in getting to the bottom of the use of chemical weapons and whether or not that has occurred in syria, and they will allow the investigative team that is already in syria to access the site where chemical weapons may have been used. it will allow them unfettered access to eyewitnesses, or even those who were affected by the weapons. it will allow them to collect physical samples without manipulation. and it will also ensure the security of that team while they do their work. the u.s. will be consulting with our allies and partners on the united nations security council about this. this is and should be a top priority of the united nations. >> but what about the u.s. policy should make assad feel threatened in any way, make him feel like he should not do this again? >> this is not just u.s. policy. there is broad international agreement.
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>> ok, the international community. what about that is threatening to him? >> i cannot speak to what he may or may not find threatening. there is no doubt that we have condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons. and you're right, we even said before there was an intelligence community assessment that chemical weapons had been used, that those individuals responsible for safeguarding chemical weapons would be held accountable for the way they were handled. there are a range of consequences for the actions that have possibly taking place. >> what are the consequences? how have they been held accountable for the first incident? and given that we are having a hard time figuring that out, why should they feel threatened about taking this action again? >> it is hard for me to speak about whether or not they feel threatened.
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but there is a broad international view that the use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable. even from people who may disagree with us on some aspects of our policy related to syria it should be able to agree that the use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable and should be able to support a robust and impartial credible investigation toward whether the chemical weapons were used. again, how this will affect our policy as a relates to the assad regime, will continue to review all complications with our international partners. we're providing assistance to the opposition, and even to the syrian military council. the united states is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to try to meet the humanitarian needs of the population that has been forced to flee the violence. and in some cases, we're talking about women and children living in terrible conditions just trying to avoid the violence. terribleappening is a situation. there is work that can be done with our international partners to try to continue to pressure the assad regime. we have seen evidence and
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indications that the regime is feeling that pressure, but you're right, it has not resulted in the outcome that we would like to see. which is assad being completely removed from power. it is not just the will of the u.s., but the will of the syrian people, and that is why it is important. >> is there any independent verification about this alleged attack? >> there is not. we have seen reports. we have consulted about the reports. but that is why we're calling for this un investigation to be conducted. there is an aunt -- an investigation team that is on the ground in syria right now. we're hopeful that the assad regime will follow through on what they have claimed previously, that they are interested in a credible investigation that gets to the bottom of reports that chemical weapons have been used. again, it is time for the assad regime to live up to the
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rhetoric in that regard. and give the investigators access to the site, the opportunity to review -- interview witnesses, collect samples, and other things that would help them reach a credible determination about what occurred. >> has this triggered any diplomatic efforts? for example, with russian counterparts, secretary kerry putting pressure on russia. >> there are a number of conversations that have occurred a couple of different levels between the united states and our partners and allies who have a vested stake in the outcome. and there was a request that was made for a consultation at the u.n. security council. ambassador powers may be able to offer insight into what is occurring in new york. >> is there anything that would indicate it might have been staged by rebels for international attention?
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>> i will not speculate on what may or may not have happened. we have credible, professional investigators with the un on the ground in syria right now. let's give them the opportunity to look at what happened, interview witnesses, collect physical evidence, and then we can reach a conclusion about what actually happened. but suffice it to say, the use of chemical weapons is something that the u.s. finds totally deplorable and completely unacceptable. those who are responsible for the use of chemical weapons, if it is determined that is what happened, will be held accountable. >> you said there were indications that assad is feeling the pressure, i think was your turn -- your term. what's possibly be due to believe that? -- what specifically leads you to think that?
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>> certainly, the public statements that we have seen for world leaders across the globe is an indication that he not only does not have their support, but their opposition. we have seen the toll that this conflict has taken on the relationships that the assad regime has with other countries in the region that they had previously at least have a working relationship with. there is also an indication that the syrian economy has taken a pretty tough hit in the midst of this turmoil as well there are a range of ways that they could have felt the pressure. but again, as i acknowledged to julie earlier, we have not attained our gut -- our goal yet, which is the removal of assad from power. thatgain, we are seeking removal not just because it is our preference, but because it is the will of the syrian people. >> the syrian government, if it inhibits the investigators in any way, will that be taken as a sign of guilt?
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will that crossed the red line for the administration? >> they certainly have the opportunity to live up to the rhetoric that they have said previously. if there -- the assad regime said they welcome a credible investigation to get to what actually occurred. caniglia, there are reports of widespread use of chemical weapons -- conveniently, there are reports of widespread use of chemical weapons, at least in one region. and there is today as we speak on the ground in syria, a united nations team with a specialty in the use of investigating chemical weapons use. let's give them the argentine to determine what occurred and get to the bottom of this, ask -- let's give them the opportunity to determine what occurred and give them -- get to the bottom of this. >> you said its chemical weapons were used because of you said that would
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cross a red line if chemical weapons were used by the assad regime. what i'm asking is if the prevention of the investigation will trigger action by the administration. >> he has previously indicated and stated, or at least his regime has, that they are interested in a full investigation. even if he wants to continue to ignore the strong urgings of the international community, he has already altered -- articulate that it is in the best interests of his regime to conduct an investigation. he can follow through on his own rhetoric. >> if he impedes the actions of the investigators, will that cross the line for the investigation? >> -- for the united states? >> it is not even a matter of cooperation. we would like to see the assad regime not interfere with this investigation. they do have the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the team as they are conducting the investigation.
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but what we're looking for is unfettered access to the witnesses, the opportunity to investigate the site where this occurred, the opportunity to look at physical evidence without interference from the assad regime. let's let the investigation move forward and we will judge the results accordingly. >> in the big picture of foreign policy right now, we have russia ignoring our request for snowden, ignoring our request for cooperation with syria. egypt ignoring -- you have egypt ignoring a request for a stop to the violence and you have siri -- syria using chemical weapons on their own people, potentially. these are all greeted by the
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obama administration with harsh condemnation. there is a perception among some that this is a weakness on the part of the obama administration. can you address that? >> you are referring to very difficult, and in some cases very intractable problems that in some cases are bearing very severe consequences for the people who live in these countries. there is no doubt about that. the u.s. has a responsibility to be a part of the international effort to address those problems. for a variety of reasons, one of them is that it is the desire of the u.s. to have good relationships with these countries. what we are trying to do in many of these cases is to marshal international support, and to work with our friends and allies to work with our partners in the region. and we have done that with some success and with some progress notable in a variety of circumstances. what we would like to see
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moving forward is a continued effort on the part of the community to work together to address some of these problems. seewe would also like to the leaders of these countries to respect the rights of the people they govern, the people they lead. that is true of the assad regime in syria, and it is certainly true of the interim government in egypt, certainly two of the most intractable problems we have been dealing with ladley. >> -- lately. >> many are wondering if the obama administration is willing to use the stick that comes along with the rhetoric. is there a real stake? should these countries fear the united states and what it says when it says we condemn what you're doing? -- >> you asking a
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are asking philosophical question. it might be better posed to the commander-in-chief himself. i think the president's willingness to use force to protect the interests of the american people has been well- documented by a lot of people in this room. particularlyis true when you consider the efforts of this administration that have been implemented to go after the core leadership of al qaeda that was previously at least intact along the border of afghanistan and pakistan. that is no longer the case. osama bin laden is no longer their plotting against the u.s. and our allies. a does not mean there is not continuing threat posed by al qaeda, but that does not mean but that threat has changed because of the president's willingness to use force.
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there are other ways to work with the international community to reach objectives. the president took a trip to africa where he highlighted some of the strong relationships the united states has there. this is the work that the president vowed to do when he took office, which is to rebuild some of the relationships that were in tatters when this president entered the oval office. that strengthens the united states on the international scene. it is good for broader national security interests. but it is something that the president and members of his team have to work on something -- have to work on every day. >> more than 100,000 people have been killed. that is effectively like wiping out the entire city of south bend, indiana. how many more people need to die before the u.s. does employ some use of force beyond humanitarian aid? >> what the president does is fors evaluating difficult
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-- foreign policy problems like this, and he assesses the national security interests of america. that is what he has done in this circumstance. he has assessed that the best way to tackle this problem is to work closely with our international allies to present a united front to the assad regime. he is involved with our partners to try to pressure bashar al-assad to respect human rights and to leave power. he is involved in providing assistance to the syrian opposition council and the military council to aid them as they fight against elements of the assad regime troops who are waging war against them. and it also means providing humanitarian and assistance. as i said earlier, the united states is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance.
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to try to meet the needs of those people in syria or bearing the brunt of the violence. >> if this is, in fact, the case, does this change the calculation? he has said before that boots on the ground is not an option. does this change that? >> before we suggest what may or may not happen as a result of the investigation findings be resealed -- be revealed, let's make sure the investigation actually get conducted in a manner that is credible. >> fair enough. the last time during the investigation, several months passed before the u.s. action it took any action. there is no reason to believe the u.s. will be granted access to that area, given the negotiated terms. >> because there actually is and investigations team that is in syria right now, i think that makes it slightly more likely -- but we will see. it certainly makes it easier for the assad regime to facilitate their access to the site. there is a bunch of the access
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to this team throughout the country to negotiate this one step that does not have to occur. this is a test for the assad regime about whether or not they will live up to their rhetoric. i'm not sure this is the same situation we were facing before. >> the terms have already been negotiated between the u.s. and -- of the un inspectors and the assad regime in advance of their arrival suggesting that they could only go to those communities. >> special circumstances could be applied. >> if they do not get access -- last time around when the white house spoke about the use of chemical weapons, they referred to them having taken place on a small scale. does this qualify as a larger scale? significant scale back>> you are referring to the community as has been about the -- the intelligence community assessment about the previous use of chemical weapons. i do not have an assessment
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about this particular circumstance to share with you at this point. legitimate, credible investigation. and it is among the many reasons why the assad regime should facilitate the access to the site. regime -- the assad jeffrey goldberg today rights, why would the assad regime launched its biggest chemical attack on civilians at precisely at the moment when a u.s. inspections team -- un inspections team was parked in damascus? the answer is easy, because it suggests that no one will do a damn thing to stop them. there is a good chance that he is a correct. is the u.s. going to do anything to stop them beyond what is done? >> there are a number of steps that we have taken i have walked through what those steps are. those involved humanitarian aid, close coordination with our allies, important conversations with regional partners. and it involves some assistance to the syrian military council.
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there are a range of things that we have done already. in terms of additional assistance that could be -- that i certainlyvided, would not rule that out. but again, that is something we are considering on a very regular basis. the results of this investigation or the results of the assad regime is seeking to inhibit this investigation will results in calculated measures later. >> will the president grant bradley manning a presidential pardon? >> there is a process for clemency applications. i'm not going to get ahead of that process. if there is an application that is filed by mr. manning or his attorneys, that application will be considered in that process, like any other application. >> you were talking earlier about tough statements coming from this government and elsewhere around the world. one year ago at this month, the president said at that news
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podium at a news conference that chemical weapons were used were spread in syria that would be a red line. his next statement was that there would be enormous consequences. what have the consequences been? >> there are a number of them. we have talked about the steady escalation of aid that has been provided to the syrian opposition. that is an effort to try to help the opposition, whether or not a war is being waged against them by the abizaid regime. -- by the assad regime. chemicalandling of weapons, those persons will be held responsible for their actions with those weapons. >> but it has been a year since the president made that statement. it has been a year. >> well, it has been.
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circumstance a where the assad regime is still in power. the --a large segment of but you have a large segment of the international community aligned against them. you have the u.s. providing assistance to the opposition. you have the united states of america trying to meet you not? the humanitarian needs -- trying to meet the humanitarian need, or seeking to meet the and humanitarian needs of the people. the situation is ongoing. and our effort to work with the international community and with the syrian opposition to remove assad from power is ongoing. effort,rking in that not just because it is the preference of the u.s., but the will of the syrian people. that is the outcome we want, a government that reflects the will of the syrian people and respect the basic human rights that the syrian people deserve to have protected by their government.
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>> the rhetoric in many of these cases has shifted to egypt, with christians being killed, church is being destroyed. what is the red line in egypt? >> i did not bring my red pen out with me today. but i can tell you that we have condemned in unambiguous terms all the violence that has been perpetrated there in egypt. we have condemned the violence perpetrated by the government against peaceful protesters, and were just as outraged and just as concerned about reports that christian churches had been targeted. the violence in egypt should come to an end. it needs to stop. that is the way we will come to a reconciliation that will allow the interim government to make good on their promise, to transition back to a democratically elected civilian government. need to see the process get started there. that is something we are encouraging the interim government to undertake.
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>> do you have a reaction in the courts for lane case? -- the christopher lane case? >> i'm not familiar. >> in oklahoma, this 22-year- old australian, a baseball player, who was targeted by three african-american young men. meet the australian was out on a jog and they have told police that they were bored and thought it would be fun to kill him. do you have a reaction? >> it sounds like this is a very tragic case. enforcementthat law is investigating. i would not want to get out ahead of that case. any act of violence is something that is -- the president himself is concerned about any act of violence. a few weeks ago, the president talked about his concern about the impact of violence on young people in particular in this country. >> why has he spoken out about
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-- we heard him speak about the trayvon martin case in the rose garden. why has he not spoken out about this in this case? on the trayvon martin case, he spoke on extensively. >> there are some people in this room that i do not think would agree with you that the president spoke out extensively. >> wasn't he in the rose garden? >> he got asked a question about it. >> and he did not have to answer it, but he did. and many came out here. -- and then he came out here. >> he came out and share some thoughts and he expressed concern about the impact of violence in communities across the country. and he talked about a number of things that the government can do, but also things he can do in our community, whether it is -- that we can do in our communities, whether is parents, churches, and communities to try to address the impact of violence. and whether there is more that we can do to try to protect our children. thean you talk about national security council and the president, how long it will
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-- how long the meeting lasted and what the decision of the president is going forward with egypt like in the case of apache helicopters being delayed or cancelled entirely? --they met in the situation the president did meet with his national security team in the situation room yesterday for more than an hour. they had the opportunity to talk about the consultation that senior members of his team have been having with their counterparts in egypt. you ever this saddam last few days and not -- you have heard me say this in the last few days a number of times that secretary kerry, secretary ago, secretary chuck hagel, and other members of obama administration have been in contact with a number of their character parts. -- their counterparts. this is an opportunity for the president to hear directly about those conversations. the president in early july ordered his team to conduct a review of our aid and assistance program to egypt. this is an opportunity for the
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president to hear from senior members of his team about the ongoing review. the review today continues to be connected. -- conducted. there is no change to report at this time as it relates to our aid and assistance program in relationship to egypt. there was also an opportunity for the president to cheer from -- hear from members of his team about the situation in cairo. we still have personnel and facilities in cairo and elsewhere in egypt. the president was briefed on that. and finally, we have also been in regular touch with our allies and partners in the region you have a stake in the outcome in -- who have a stake in the outcome in egypt, and have been engaged and trying to find a solution. the president was giving an opportunity to them to -- was given an opportunity to hear from our allies and partners as well. >> are there any specific steps -- that the president believe that there are any safety
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precautions that should be taking in egypt? commentot prepared to on that right now. >> is it credible now for this white house to continue tuesday as he sat on jalon out there is -- to say, as he said on jay leno, that there is not a domestic surveillance program going on in this country? >> of course. >> even though as these disclosures continued to show up, there is ample evidence, and conversation -- confirmation in some cases, that surveillance of the public was happening that they were not aware of, and there is a sort of constant net out there that is not in the president's point of view surveillance, but would strike most of the public as a surveillance program? >> we are talking about a nearly focused program -- narrowly focused program on intelligence. the goal is to implement these programs anyway --
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>> that is the goal, but there are more than one or two instances of e-mail or conversations that do not particulate fit into those -- that do not fit into those particularly identified guidelines. -- legally established surveillance guidelines. >> we read about it in the wall street journal and the reason we're talking about it right now is because there are very strict compliance standards at the nsa that much for for compliance issues, that tabulate them, document them, and put in place measures that will correct them when they occur. >> where is their tabulation of the domestic scene -- surveillance? but this is specifically at the -- >> this is a program that is specifically as it relates to foreign intelligence and foreign surveillance for our national security purposes. i think the wall street journal in respect was pretty risk -- it pretty specific about the
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aims of that program and how some of those goals were achieved. at the same time, when this president took office, he acknowledged in a news conference with all of you that he had inherent skepticism about these programs. about whether they did properly strike a balance between protecting our national security and protecting our privacy rights that all americans enjoy. as a result of that skepticism, he ordered a review of these programs, and as a result of that review, some steps were taken to put in place stricter compliance standards, greater transparency measures, and additional responsibilities for the intelligence community to report to congress, who has oversight responsibility. the president has taken some steps to address these concerns. the last thing i will say about this is that as we have talked about this in recent months, one thing has become clear.
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these programs are operated by operate -- by security professionals and there are -- and the conduct of these programs is critical to our national security. there are documented cases where these programs have contributed to the destruction of terror plots. there are documented cases where these programs have strengthened not just our homeland security, but also the security of our assets and allies around the globe. we're talking about very important programs. but the president feels just as strongly of the need to strike the right balance between security and privacy. weekse heard in recent suggestions from progress that -- from members of congress that there are additional things we can do to strengthen these programs and make sure these strict compliance standards are met. there are individual members of congress that at suggestions for additional changes that were like to enact into law. the president and members of his administration are willing to sit down at the table with them to put in place greater
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transparency. the reason for that is simply, the president believes these programs will work better if there is public confidence in them. if we can inspire greater public continent -- confidence in these programs by putting in greater transparency or by putting an additional oversight measures, that we are certainly word -- willing to work with congress to implement those changes. feel,s it at times particularly in syria and like you are powerless to affect the outcomes they would like? >> of course not. the president believes there is a role for the international community to play in both of these instances. this president and these can -- this country has taken a leadership role in this international community. >> [no audio] -- [inaudible] international community and pressure in syria are hard to
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see. >> i have a knowledge that we have a couple of times not achieved our alpago, which is to -- i have acknowledged a couple of times that we have not achieved our ultimate goal, remove assad from power. there is broad international support for that. and there is broad international support -- broad support in egypt in terms of asking the interim government to transition back to a democratically elected civilian government. there is a role for the international community to play, and there is a leadership role for the u.s. to play in the international community. and you're right, in both instances we have not attained our ultimate goal. >> [inaudible] >> that is harder to assess. what i can tell you is we have work to do in both of these areas. this is something we are actively working on, whether it
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is a national security meeting in the situation room or, whether it is meetings at the un conducted by our ambassador kamal ourk meetings conducted here -- by our ambassador, or meetings here conducted by our secretary of defense, we are working on those issues. >> as you said yesterday, many in theirve beau biden thoughts. can you tell us anything about his condition? >> i'm not in a position to offer any new details about the medical condition of mr. biden. when additional details are available, they will likely be communicated to you through the delaware attorney general's office. i do not have any update in terms of conversations between the president and vice president. and it is the vice president's of its who is maintaining the -- office who is maintaining the
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vice president's schedule. i do not have any updates on the schedule. as you know, he is in houston today. at this point, he is still scheduled to join the president in scranton on friday. but we will see. there are changes, we will get -- if there are any changes to announce, we will get them to you. >> the u.s. government currently classified as mayor -- classifies marijuana in the most dangerous category. as heroin, andry more harmful than cocaine or methamphetamines. sanjay gupta, my distinguished colleague, has called for reconsideration of the classification. reported medical shoulds of marijuana, the government reconsider its position? >> while the prosecution of drug traffickers remains an important priority, the president and the administration believed that targeting individual marijuana users, especially those with serious
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illnesses and their care givers, is not the best allocation of federal law enforcement resources. the president last talked about this interview he had with barbara walters in december when she asked in a similar question. the president acknowledged that the priority, in terms of the dedication of law enforcement resources, should be targeted toward drug kingpins, traffickers, and others who perpetrate violence in the conduct of the drug trade. but that is the best use of our law enforcement resources. but at the same time, the president has not advocated a change in the law. >> is he willing to take steps to make it easier to conduct research on marijuana's medical benefits? >> i'm not sure what changes could be implemented into the law to have an impact on marijuana research. >> [indiscernible] >> for some reason, i have the sneaking suspicion that this
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will draw me all kinds of traffic on twitter. [laughter] now.predicting that maybe i will have an update for you later. >> there are fires burning in 11 states across the nation, in backing thousands of acres. thousandsng tens of of acres. has the president considered federal involvement in fighting the fires? has he considered visiting any of these states? >> that is a good question, because there has been quite a bit of federal involvement. the better -- the president was briefed yesterday on the to fight the fires. he was briefed yesterday about the wildfire efforts in the west and the effort to fight those fires. one thing discussed yesterday by the multi agency coordinating group, they elevated the level from four to five.
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greaters does is allow state and federal resources to be applied to confront the situation the prepared as level -- the situation. the assessment of the preparedness level is based on fire conditions, fire activity, and resource availability. there are more than 40 and contained an large wild fires -- 40 wildfires that are not contained across the u.s., including in states like alaska, california, oregon, idaho, utah, and washington. there 1700 that have responded to the beaver creek fire in idaho. that has gotten a lot of attention in the last couple of days. since the beginning of the fire season,fema has approved 26 fire management assistance grants this fire season. including one that was provided august 15 to fight the beavercreek fire in idaho. these assistance grants provide
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resources, both monetary and otherwise, to state and local officials responsible for fighting these fires. there is a robust effort under way at the federal level to support the ongoing efforts. i should have started this comment by saying something that is true of everybody in this room, which is that our thoughts and prayers are with those in those communities that have been affected by these fires. and our thoughts and fair -- thoughts and prayers are particularly with those who are fighting the fires. >> tonight, on c-span of the encore presentation of first ladies -- 9 >> james garfield went to chicago to nominate someone else for president. he was not expecting to be a candidate. so of course, she had no idea that somewhere up to 17,000 people would show up to her home and property. when that many people,
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obviously, not unexpected, and divided, started to cause a lot of damage to the property. we know that she was a gracious host. she very often would greet them in the front hallway and offer them during the campaign what she would call standing refreshment. which basically mention was very gracious, talk to them for a few minutes, and offer them a cool glass of water or lemonade, but not offer them a chair because she wanted them to move on. eastern.s at 9:00 p.m. >> on the next "washington journal" the rising cost of social security, disability insurance program. and a look at the future of lockheed martin's $100 trillion f-35 program. a discussion of the nsa mapping
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chart and what it probably looks like this starts at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> seven democrats seeking the nomination for new york city mayor will be meeting in a televised debate. you can watch it live here on c- span and listen to it on c-span radio. this is the latest -- the latest in a series of debates between the candidates. the democratic primary is go to for tuesday, september 10. if no candidate -- if no candidate receives 40% of the vote, a runoff will take place.


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